September 25, 2012
A large scale, innovative solar energy system has begun generating electricity for the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority's wastewater treatment facility in Camden City. The 1.8 megawatt system is comprised of more than 7,200 solar panels and will produce around 2.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, enough to meet the needs of more than 150 homes. The power will reduce the facility's dependence on grid power and is projected to save more than $160,000 in electricity costs during the first year of operation alone.
The project was developed by HelioSage, a national developer of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, and is owned by Camden Solar Center, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Integrys Energy Services, one of the country’s largest investors in renewable energy. The system was engineered and built by groSolar, a national leader in solar construction. The project was constructed entirely over the top of open wastewater treatment tanks, maximizing the system size in a space-constrained area.
“Water and wastewater treatment facilities are excellent candidates for solar power because they are energy intensive operations. However, many treatment plants are located in urban areas with limited land. Developing this project over the treatment tanks provided a creative solution and we believe it will change the way people think about how and where you can go solar,” said Jonathan Baker, Chief Strategy Officer of HelioSage.
Constructing a seven-acre solar plant above open water did present its challenges, according to groSolar’s EVP of Engineering and Construction, Frank Griffin. “Working over and around treatment tanks required creativity, a focus on safety, and the elimination of any interference with the critical operations that take place here,” said Mr. Griffin. “I am proud that the groSolar team was able to deliver this project on time and on budget in a challenging environment.”
As the system owner, Camden Solar Center, LLC provided project financing and will pay for ongoing operations and maintenance. Under a power purchase agreement with Camden Solar Center, the CCMUA will simply purchase the electricity that is produced over the next 15 years. “We are pleased to add this system to our fleet of clean energy assets,” said Joel Jansen, Managing Director of Energy Assets for Integrys Energy Services. “The partnership created between the CCMUA, Integrys, HelioSage and groSolar delivered a project that has surpassed expectations, and it will serve as an outstanding example of the benefits of solar power.”
“The successful construction of this project, essentially against the odds, demonstrates Camden County’s unwavering commitment to the environment and our rate payers, making it a true win-win,” said Andy Kricun, Deputy Executive Director and Chief Engineer of CCMUA.
About Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority
Camden County is located in the southwestern portion of New Jersey, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. The County is 226 square miles in area, with a population of about 500,000 across thirty-seven municipalities. The Camden County Wastewater Treatment Plant is a nationally recognized environment management system that treats 60 million gallons of wastewater a day. The plant plays a key role in protecting public health and the environment of Camden County.
HelioSage is a solar energy services provider. The Company was founded by several of the principals of Greenlight Energy, Inc., one of the country's largest independent wind energy companies at the time of its 2006 sale to BP Alternative Energy. With experience built upon 400MW of financed renewable energy projects, HelioSage ensures risk reduced, financially sound investments in both solar electricity and solar energy systems. For more information about HelioSage, please visit www.heliosage.com
About Integrys Energy Services, Inc.
Established in 1994, Integrys Energy Services, Inc. provides competitive energy supply solutions, structured products, and strategies that allow retail residential, commercial, and industrial customers to manage their energy needs. Its principal energy marketing operations are in the northeastern quadrant of the United States. Through its subsidiary, Integrys Energy Services – Natural Gas LLC, Integrys offers natural gas products to a full range of end-users throughout the Midwest. Areas of generation expertise include cogeneration, distributed generation, renewables such as solar and landfill gas, as well as clean fuel generation, with facilities in selected markets throughout the United States. More information about Integrys Energy Services is available online at www.integrysenergy.com.
groSolar is one of North America’s leading providers of innovative solar energy solutions for commercial and utility scale applications. groSolar has completed thousands of installations including residential, commercial and utility solar photovoltaic installations across the United States and provides complete engineering, design, procurement and construction services. In addition, groSolar can assist with the feasibility analysis, financing and the development of solar projects. Founded in 1998, groSolar has been at the forefront of technological innovation and continues to provide a technology independent approach to each of its projects. For more information go to groSolar.com or call Frank Griffin, 1-800-374-4494.
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